Totalmovie plans live video for OTT service in Latin America

Gabriel Miramar-Garcia | 28-11-2012

Totalmovie, the Latin American equivalent of Netflix owned by Grupo Salinas, is planning to launch live online content early in 2013, according to reports.
To do so, the Wall Street Journal said it is teaming up with Sony's Latin American unit, which will embed the Totalmovie app into its connected TVs, Blu-ray players, tablets and smartphones. Meanwhile, lusacell, a sister company, will offer carrier billing for the service in Mexico. El Economista reported that the content will first come from another sister company, Mexican broadcast network TV Azteca. Meanwhile Netflix recently inked a deal with TV Azteca's arch domestic rival, Televisa.

The move will be important as Totalmovie looks to maintain its status as the No. 2 over-the-top (OTT) operator in Mexico and looks to gain share throughout the region. Netflix takes the top spot in Mexico, but there are plenty of other competitive wolves at the door, including Walmart's VUDU, which launched in August in Latin America. Homegrown competition includes Bazuca, the online streaming subsidiary of Chilean cable operator VTR, and Claro Video from Telcel, which operates in Colombia and Argentina with plans to enter Brazil and Mexico in early 2013, with total Latin America coverage planned by the end of the year. Billionaire Carlos Slim has his own OTT service in Mexico, TV Uno TV, and in Brazil, Totalmovie is up against NetMovies, Terra TV Video Store, Saraiva Digital and Muu in the streaming business.
Against this backdrop, live TV could be a powerful differentiator.
"Totalmovie will be the world's first live online TV service," announced Grupo Salinas President and CEO Ricardo Salinas Pliego, during a launch event. He added, "This is an important step, and for all the companies that are in the business of free-to-air broadcast television, a window is opening to distribute their content globally."